Former Warner Music Group govt and the Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen mentioned on Tuesday (Nov. 1) he’s taking a brand new job as chief govt officer of a fintech platform aimed toward promoting fractional shares in track catalogs.
Cohen, who stepped down from his function as chief innovation officer at WMG in September, mentioned the goal of the brand new enterprise is to “fractionalize possession of music royalties.”
Fractional shares are a well-recognized idea in finance, and brokerages like Robinhood and Constancy Investments promote them as a method to purchase a slice of a share for lower than the value of the entire inventory. The marketplace for shopping for and investing in music publishing rights has historically been open to solely the world’s largest music firms and, extra not too long ago, cash managers.
Introducing fractional shares might change that by making it doable for extra smaller traders to take part alongside the deep-pocketed non-public fairness funds and main labels.
In an e-mail to Billboard, Cohen mentioned has already secured rights from main artists and catalogs, and his staff is now working to construct the platform’s expertise.
“We’ve got a really aggressive timeline,” mentioned Cohen, declining to offer a selected date when the enterprise would launch to exterior traders.
Previous to becoming a member of WMG in 2019, Cohen based the Orchard with Richard Gottehrer in 1997 and constructed it into the biggest unbiased distributor on iTunes when the obtain platform launched in 2003. Cohen and Gottehrer bought the Orchard to Dimensional Associates, the non-public fairness arm of JDS Capital Administration, the identical 12 months, and subsequently expanded into video, music licensing, advertising & analytics, royalty collections, sports activities media, neighboring rights and extra.
In 2015, Sony Music Leisure purchased out Dimensional Associates for $200 million, and in 2017 merged it with RED right into a single international distribution entity working below the Orchard model.
Whereas Cohen’s new enterprise has not but settled on a reputation, he described its aspirations and potential as “transformational” for the music trade.
“I’m solely occupied with doing issues at scale,” Cohen wrote.